38 Valentine's Gifts That Will Save You From A Cheap Box Of Chocolates

Food and love are closely entwined, and no time of year is this more apparent than on Valentine's Day. The heart-shaped chocolate box is practically synonymous with the holiday. Unfortunately, though, many of the V-Day gifts we see are less sweet and more sickly-sweet — overdone, overdecorated, and covered in way too much pink and red.

But for the more discerning gift-giver, there's no shortage of ways to say "I love you" with food, from hot sauce to Champagne to candy that's far more sophisticated than a box of whatever from the drugstore. Click through to see the Valentine's Day gifts we actually want to give (and get) this year.

Nutella is great. Over 6 pounds of Nutella is the greatest.

Nutella Giant Nutella Tub, $33.99, available at Nuts.com.
For anyone whose theme song in February is "Love Stinks."

Michel Cluizel Milk Chocolate Sardines, $19.95, available at Amazon.
The ideal gift should be useful as well as awesome (a.k.a. Sriracha packets).

Sriracha2Go Huy Fong Sriracha Packets 50 ct., $14.99, available at Sriracha2Go.
If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all. If you want to say something nice, you might as well say it with Champagne. With Veuve Clicquot's message box, you can spell out your sentiments right on the packaging. (We'd go with: "Please share this with me?!")

Veuve Clicquot Rosé Champagne, $59.95 , available at Sherry-Lehmann Wine & Spirits.
If Champagne isn't your thing, why not go with a French single-malt for the whiskey lover in your life?

Brenne Single Malt Whiskey, $59.99, available at Casker's.
So what if you're single on Valentine's Day? So what if your birthday is in August? Birthday-cake cookie dough doesn't care.

Edoughble Birthday Bash, $8, available at Edoughble.
Quin's soft and dreamy candies were the grown-up Starbursts and Tootsie Rolls we never knew we needed — until we tried this assorted box, which proves that, yes, candy is indeed magic.

Quin Candy Is Magic Gift Box, $16, available at Quin.
For the unlucky in love — or just fans of the salty-sweet: Milk Bar's giant, heart-shaped compost cookie (full of pretzels, chocolate, potato chips, and marshmallows) might be the perfect gift.

Milk Bar Heart-Shaped Compost Cookie Cake, $36.75, available at Milk Bar.
These salted-caramel bees are (almost) too cute to eat.

John & Kira's Chocolate Bees, $29.95, available at John & Kira's.
What better way to convey your undying love than with a cookie that looks like an actual heart?

Whipped Bakeshop Anatomical Heart Gift Box, $26, available at Etsy.
The elusive Loch Ness monster does exist — at least, as the cutest soup ladle we've ever seen. Maybe true love is real, too.

Ototo Nessie Ladle, $8.89, available at Amazon.
Meet the latest candy to get a serious upgrade when it goes artisanal. Askinosie's hand-crafted malt balls take over 8 hours to make and are covered with layers of Tanzanian dark chocolate.

Askinosie Chocolate Covered Malt Balls, $15, available at Askinosie.
If you're looking for a sexy food gift for your S.O. that doesn't come with instructions for where to lick it off, may we suggest this gorgeous set of hand-painted chocolates? It depicts nine scenes from The Kama Sutra in all their sensual glory.

Dolce Federica Kama Sutra Chocolates, $36, available at Dolce Federica.
We've heard of the so-called engagement chicken, but may we humbly present the engagement cookie: If someone gave us Levain's iconic, oversized, ooey-gooey cookies, we'd be tempted to do any number of rash things, like propose marriage (or eat all eight cookies in one sitting).

Levain Gift Box of 8 Cookies, $49, available at Levain.
Remember how in old-timey books people were always so excited to get oranges? It's probably not because they immediately made mimosas with them (which, for the record, is what we'd do if someone gave us these organic blood oranges).

Frog Hollow Farm Organic Blood Oranges, $32, available at Food52.
Who says your love of chocolate and your love of dinosaurs have to be mutually exclusive?

Andie's Speciality Sweets Dinosaur Fossil Candy, $47.50, available at Etsy.
For the Valentine who is best described as "indoorsy" — the best part of camping, no sleeping bag required.

Butter & Scotch S'mores Pie, $38, available at Butter & Scotch.
Or go high-end with your marshmallows. These are cooked in Champagne and finished with edible gold.

Wondermade Gold & Champagne Marshmallows, $24, available at Wondermade.
There are two kinds of people in the world: those who hate mayonnaise, and those who don't see anything weird about getting a jar of Sriracha mayo for Valentine's Day.

Empire Mayonnaise Co. Sriracha Mayo, $7.50, available at Empire Mayonnaise Co.
Drizzle it on ice cream, serve it with cake...or eat it straight out of the jar. No judgment.

Coop's Handmade Hot Fudge, $9.99, available at Yummy Bazaar.
We'd much rather get a pack of L.A.'s beloved Sweet Rose ice cream than a dozen (non-edible) roses.

Sweet Rose Valentine's Day Pint Pack, $60, available at Sweet Rose.
If you're going to give the gift of maple syrup, you might as well go all out with the barrel-aged, bourbon-matured craft kind.

Noble Handcrafted Tonic 01, $29, available at Oak and Salt.
Sugar isn't the only way to our hearts. A crunchy, sour pickle will get you there, too.

Messy Brine The Deli Pickle, $7, available at Messy Brine.
Okay, maybe a ball of provolone isn't practical...but it sure is pretty.

Boccino Grande Provolone Ball, $19.99, available at DiBruno Brothers.
Food gifts don't have to be edible. But if they can't be edible, they should be huggable — like this oversized, lovable cinnamon bun.

Squishable Cinnamon Bun, $42, available at Squishable.
Making bacon pancakes just got way easier with this mix from Vosges, which contains its famous bacon chocolate.

Vosges Haut-Chocolate Mo's Bacon Chocolate Chip Pancake Mix, $12, available at Vosges Haut-Chocolate.
Just try to stop at one bite of this crunchy, buttery, oh-so-addictive toffee.

Bell Stone Dark Chocolate Toffee, $22, available at Zingerman's.
Or, if you prefer, have some peanut butter with your bacon chocolate.

Black Pig Meat Co. Bacon Peanut Butter Cups, $17.25, available at Mouth.
If Gatsby had wanted to give Daisy a box of booze-infused chocolates for Valentine's, we're pretty sure it would be this one from Sugarfina.

Sugarfina Vice Collection 3 Piece Bento Box, $28, available at Sugarfina.
We know "Netflix and chill" doesn't actually mean Netflix and chill...but we would totally watch Netflix and chill out with anyone who gave us truffle popcorn.

Pipcorn Truffle 4 Pack, $26, available at Pipcorn.
Valentine's Day is the perfect time to take your favorite text-based flirtation to the next level with some IRL emojis in flavors like raspberry, cherry, and lime.

Raley's Confectionary Emoticon Mixed Rock Candy, $5, available at Raley's Confectionary.
Sugar and spice and everything nice — that's what our favorite chili-infused honey is made of.

MixedMade Bee's Knees Spicy Honey, $20, available at Terrain.
Infused with real roses, these all-natural gummies won't wilt after a few days — and you don't have to worry about watering them.

Willamette Valley Confectionery Basket O' Roses, $10.99, available at Farm to People.
Even V-Day haters should get something sweet.

Bond Street Chocolates Dark Chocolate Skulls, $14, available at Bond Street Chocolates.
Healing crystals may be pseudoscience, but edible healing crystals have shown the power to soothe a sweet tooth.

Sweet Saba Crystal Candy, $20, available at Sweet Saba.
Small-batch, USDA-organic, blend of unique spices...all that sounds good, but we really just want to display the gorgeous bottle.

Koval Dry Gin, $34.99, available at Binny's.
The light side and the dark side of the Force are in total harmony — at least when they're ice-cream flavors. (And when the dark side includes espresso-fudge brownies, we're totally willing to hang with Kylo Ren.)

Ample Hills Star Wars 4-Pack, $36, available at Ample Hills.
Russell Stover this is not: Each one of Cathy Selin's chocolates is handcrafted in a process that can take up to four days (good luck making them last that long!).

Chocolate In Chelsea Not a Normal Box of Chocolates, $60, available at Zingerman's.
Show More Comments...